Overview of Electoral Polls and their Statistical Problems

Open to the Public

Announcement of Presentation on November 20 2019

The Electoral Season always brings up the vote intention from polls (or surveys) that candidates, pundits and journalists use (and even misuse) to assess who is ahead in each political contest. We often hear or read that “candidate X is ahead, with 47% of vote intention, to only 45% for his opponent”. Such statement is statistically incomplete and incorrect. In addition, there are other technical complications.

For example, many people use cell instead of land phones, which are mostly unlisted. Hence, these people are difficult to reach by surveys. Others, use answering machines and caller Id devices as screening mechanisms, to identify callers before deciding to take their call. This curtails access to many potential survey subjects, which can seriously invalidate (or bias) the sample and its results.

Such problems have resulted in some polls grossly overstating or understating the status of the candidates. Recent cases include the US 2016 presidential election and the British referendum on Brexit The current presentation will discuss surveys and their problems in layman’s terms.


Note: Dr. Jorge Luis Romeu is a professional statistician with 45+ years of experience in teaching, research and consulting. He retired Emeritus from SUNY Cortland, worked as Senior Engineer, for IIT Research Institute, in the Reliability Analysis Center, Rome Lab, and was, for 16 years, a Research Professor, at Syracuse University. He currently teaches part time graduate statistics courses at SU.

John G Butler

Date of Passing: Saturday, October 19, 2019

John “Jack” G. Butler, Jr. October 19, 2019 John “Jack” G. Butler, Jr., 77, of Skaneateles passed away on October 19th at Francis House surrounded by his family. A loving husband, adoring father, and kind-hearted Irishman, he was born on February 20, 1942 in Syracuse, the eldest child of the late John G. Butler and Jane Burns Butler. John was a proud veteran of the U.S. Air Force, serving in Aviano, Italy. He was a 1965 graduate of Simmons School of Mortuary Science, a licensed funeral director, and a retired sergeant from the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Department, having served the department for over 30 years. John was a gregarious, kind, and generous man who loved people and could strike up a conversation with a stranger in a matter of minutes. His life’s motto, a poem borrowed from the Girl Scouts, was “Make new friends, but keep the old, for one is silver and the other gold.” He aimed to bring a smile to anyone who crossed his path because he always said, “you never know what kind of day someone is having”. Whether he was giving out candy bars to the veterans, adorning the graves of family, friends and colleagues to keep their memory alive, or helping a friend through hard times, he touched the lives of so many. A true gentleman, and an Irishman to the core, John treasured the moments when he could share a smile and a story with all those whom he had the good fortune to meet. Proud of his heritage, he was a devoted member of the Cavalry Club and served on the Troop D Veterans Board of Directors for many years. He also served as a member and former President of the Deputy Sheriff’s Benevolent Association. He was an active member and past president of the Central New York Funeral Directors Association, a member of the New York State Funeral Directors Association, Fraternal Order of Police, Irish Cultural Society of Central New York, American Legion Post #239 Skaneateles, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, New York Guard, Ancient Order of Hibernians, a 40-year member of the Masonic Lodge No. 501 Liverpool, a life member of the Tigris Shrine, Central City Commandery, Central City Riverside Royal Arch Masons, 32nd degree Scottish Rite Valley of Syracuse, Central City Cryptic Council, Masonic War Veterans, Skaneateles Masonic Lodge #522, and the Skaneateles Rod & Gun Club. John will be greatly missed and is survived by his wife of 54 years, Barbara (Comstock); three children, Stacy Drake (Dale), John G. Butler, III (Christa), and Jennifer Grippa (Chris); five grandchildren, Michael, Patrick, Hannah Jane, Chase, and Carson; three step grandchildren, Alex, Matthew, and Christopher; his sister Anna Janet Maloney-Brobst (Bernie) of Florida; his brothers Anders Butler (Deborah) of Syracuse, J. Langley Butler (Eileen) of Virginia, William Butler of Massachusetts; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Calling hours will be held on Friday, October 25th from 4 to 8pm at Robert D. Gray Funeral Home, Skaneateles, with a Masonic Service at 7:45pm. Funeral services will be held at St. Mary’s of the Lake Catholic Church, Skaneateles on Saturday, October 26th at 10:00am with a private burial to follow at Lakeview Cemetery. Following the services at 1:00pm, family and friends will gather at John’s favorite spot, the Cavalry Club, Troop K Road, Manlius to toast to his life and honor his memory. In lieu of flowers, contributions in John’s name can be made to Francis House, 108 Michaels Ave., Syracuse, NY 13208 or SAVES Ambulance of Skaneateles, or any of the organizations that John loved and supported. The family would like to thank the talented and caring physicians and nurses at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse, all of whom worked hard to care for John and prolong his life, and to the caregivers and volunteers at Francis House who gave him the very best last days of a full and rich life.

WORD Article – September 2018

Hello, Brethren. I am greatly honored to have been elected Worshipful Master of our Lodge. I plan to give my best effort and ability to this endeavor. I want to thank WM Doug Russell, under whom I learned many useful things about being a Master. And I want to start by sharing with all of you three main themes that I would like to develop in our Lodge during this year.

First, the Lodge is an Oasis of Peace and Fellowship.
We are all Brothers and should meet, act and part as such. Attending the Lodge is something to look forward to—not a punishment. An environment of respect and collegiality is necessary if we want to achieve it. Bickering should be left at the door. We will have inexpensive meals either before or after sessions. Officers will take turns preparing them. Your Master will cook for our first Lodge meeting, the Official Visit, which will be on September 17. Hopefully, such activities will help increase Lodge attendance.

Secondly, Lodge sessions will end by 10 p.m. at latest.
Many Brothers have problems with our sessions ending later, as we have to wake up early to go to work, or our significant others do. Arriving home late is not conducive to creating a home-support atmosphere. This hurts Lodge attendance and perhaps leads to leaving the Lodge. This is especially crucial during Degree work. Degrees will end by 10:30 at the latest. We have already changed our By-Laws to start earlier on Degree nights and make this possible.

Thirdly, we come to Lodge to do Masonry.
Hence, every session will include some form of instruction: a program or a short presentation or reading.

And to enable the participation of our newly Initiated Brothers, the Lodge will be lowered to the First, and then Second Degree as these Brothers progress in Masonry. This year we will have only one round of Degrees, two months apart, starting in December. Such an interval between Degrees allows our new Brothers the time to assimilate and learn the concepts and the information received in the Degrees.

On October 1, to honor our Veterans and Sojourners, we will have an open meeting with a catered dinner. Our Keynote Speaker will be RW John Fuller.

I want to end by inviting all our Lodge Brothers to contact me with their ideas, suggestions, criticisms, etc. And come to Lodge, join a committee and participate actively in our work.

Jorge Romeu

Congratulations to Our 2018-2019 Line

Worshipful Master – W.’. Jorge L. Romeu
Senior Warden – W.’. Timothy S. Hansen
Junior Warden – Bro. James D. Colditz
Secretary – R.’. W.’. Gary L. Heinmiller
Treasurer – R.’. W.’. Ralph I. Haney Jr.
Senior Deacon – Bro. Rainer D. Grimme
Junior Deacon – Bro. Brian R. McGee
Senior Master of Ceremonies – Bro. Christopher P Collins
Junior Master of Ceremonies – Bro. Alan L. Barth
Steward – Bro. David H. Carleo
Steward – Bro. Sean P. Carleo
Chaplain – W.’. William C. Schueltz
Marshal – Bro. James M. Santy Jr.
Tiler – Bro. Russell C. Beckwith
Organist – Bro. Douglas A. Campbell
Lodge Historian – R.’. W.’. Gary L. Heinmiller
Overseers of the Work
R.’. W.’. William Vassily
W.’. Robert Bowles
Bro. Lee Wiggins, DSA